John Schuchman - From W-2 To 6 Figure Agent Using Social Media

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Can you be a successful agent without cold-calling? Ask John Schuchman! Back in 2019 he lost his W-2 job and decided to get into real estate. He used free organic social media to grow his business to 6 figures, paid off debt, and hasn't looked back. He even tripled his business in 1 year! In addition to his role as an agent, John is the host of the "Real Estate Survival Guide" podcast, and he wants to help others do what he did and help them create a successful real estate business to utilize "low-hanging fruit" to grow their business for free and enjoy the freedom and flexibility that a career in real estate can bring.

 

In this episode, hosted by Mike Swenson, we discussed:

  • How John used organic social media to create his six-figure income.
  • Tell stories on what you’re doing because everybody is a storyteller, and people like to hear stories.
  • Have a humble attitude.
  • Do not beg people to use your business, do it organically.
  • Social media is a tool to grow your business.
  • Be willing, have faith in your abilities and believe that you can help people.
  • Your value proposition is yourself.
  • Every single one of us in real estate or in any business has something valuable to bring to the table.
  • Focus on putting out quality content and share it to your personal page.
  • Many people try for three months and don't see the results. Social media is a long game.
  • If you want to get engagement, ask questions of people, it doesn't have to be about real estate.
  • Your social media is a living and breathing portfolio of you.
  • You must feed your mind on positive thoughts, uplifting things, and a community of people to talk to because your journey can be lonely at times.
  • If you put your heart, soul, and effort into it, you can continue to grow and scale your business
  • If you continue to do the legwork, eventually you can grow towards passive income.

 

Timestamps

0:00 - Intro to John’s Career
2:03 - John’s Story
6:40 - First Fruit Results
10:57 - Growing Organically
12:16 - Preventing Bad Experiences
20:29 - Value Proposition
22:47 - Strategies in Social Media
30:40 - Overcoming Struggles
37:37- How to Find John

 

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https://www.facebook.com/JohnSchuchman 
https://www.instagram.com/john_schuch..
https://www.instagram.com/thelancaste..
https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnschuc..
https://andrewwelkgroup.homesale.com/...

 

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Full transcript here:

Mike Swenson 

Welcome to The REL Freedom Podcast where we inspire you to pursue your passion to gain time and financial freedom through opportunities in real estate. I'm your host, Mike Swenson, let's get some real freedom together.

 

Mike Swenson 

Hello, and welcome everybody to the real freedom podcast where we talk about building time and financial freedom through opportunities in real estate. And there's a lot of you that aren't in real estate, and may be considering getting into real estate and want to know, what's it like, how do I get started? How do I go from that w two job to being an entrepreneur? And the easy answer is, it's a lot harder than you think that it is. And so he we're here today with John Schuchman. And he's going to tell us about his transition.

 

Mike Swenson 

So quick backstory about John back in 2019, lost his full time w two job and kind of struggled through a period there to figure out what he was going to do next, got into real estate has built up a six figure business, mainly through using organic social media, which we'll talk about heavily. And now as you know, helping others do the same. And so a lot of people don't need to get into real estate because I want to make unlimited money have complete control of my schedule. And what they often learn is it takes way longer than you think it's so much harder than you think. And there's a big struggle there. And so we're really going to kind of talk about that today. So John, welcome to the show. excited to have you,

 

John Schuchman 

Mike, thank you so much excited to be here. And I will just say I know that you know, I have a podcast, I know that podcasting can often be a thankless job. So thank you for what you're doing to help people. I know, podcasting is one of the coolest things and coolest ways to meet people. But I know often you do a lot of work. I'm sure if you're like me, you're like, is this really worth it sometimes. So I just want to say from one possible podcaster to another. Thank you so much for what you're doing to help people kind of see the stories of financial freedom. And thanks for having me on the show.

 

Mike Swenson 

Awesome. Get started. And tell us about your story here. What led up to the period of where you kind of got into real estate and then we'll dig in deeper from there.

 

John Schuchman 

Yeah, absolutely. So that's kind of a 60/92 version is basically I've had more w2 jobs than probably anyone in the world. And I would you know if you if you have that many we should chat. But and basically every single job I've been in was always something in sales. So my first job was at Sears selling tools for commission at 16 years old did really really well loved it. You know, moved on to something else. I've worked in restaurants, management at Chick fil A sold mattresses. If there's something to sell, I've probably sold it. But except cars, I've never sold cars. But what I what I always learned what I always struggled with along the journey was I'm such a dreamer.

 

John Schuchman 

Like even now in my real estate business in my membership, my coaching and my podcast, I do whatever the heck I want. Right now, again, we know as realtors, that it's like a lot of work. But I love the freedom of like, okay, what am I going to do today? You know, I had a meeting scheduled earlier, we have this podcast interview scheduled. But besides that I get to kind of do what I want be with my family be with my kids. And so the struggle of a W2 job was I wasn't the boss, right? I was answering to somebody I was doing what they wanted me to do. And so I often would kind of question things now I lost many jobs. I wasn't sleeping with the boss, I wasn't stealing from the cash register or anything like that. I just was such a dreamer and a visionary.

 

John Schuchman 

So one of my jobs in banking, I remember an Assistant Branch Manager would email me, Hey, can you email this person? And I would push back like did you just email me and tell me to email someone right? That didn't sit very well. I remember in a job at Chick fil A, I love Chick fil A great company. I was so busy dreaming and you know, like it's a great time to dream and try to improve things at 10am or four in the afternoon. It's not a great time to do that at one o'clock in the afternoon when you're pushing 100 cars to the drive thru in an hour. And so I didn't have that like awareness to be like, okay, now's not the time to improve now's the time to get the darn food out the window. And so if if I really think about my entire W2 journey, I've shared this a lot recently, there was a great quote by Albert Einstein that says everybody's a genius. If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it'll go up its whole life thinking it's stupid. And that literally is like that defines my entire career. Like I always thought I was dumb or stupid because I would lose jobs.

 

John Schuchman 

No, I just had to find the right fit. And so we can jump in deeper into it. But once I found once I really found real estate I'm like, wait a second, I'm good at relationships, and I'm good at sales and put those together and could be my right the third piece being where like I'm my own boss. I kind of do what I want. I feel like I hit the jackpot and found what I really was meant to do now, you know, I know a lot of your audience too is like, Okay, how do we find passive income, residual income, I would say, you've got to build the foundation first, right me saying, oh, I want to create a six figure income, where I just have rental units, and I kind of sit on the couch all day. You know, that's years down the road, like we're just me and my wife are just starting to think about investing now, well, but we had to build up a foundation through the Residential income, residential real estate first, we couldn't just sit there.

 

John Schuchman 

And so I think like, residual income is a great word. I feel like passive income people often think like, I don't have to do anything for it. And I would say you have to do all the legwork at the beginning to eventually get to the passive so but that's kind of like the couple minute version of like my story and how I got into real estate, I love it a lot, have had a lot of success. Now I get to coach other realtors, because I have a membership for realtors, and I coach them on social media have a podcast for realtors. So it's been a ton of fun. A lot of work, right. And I would say God's blessed our family incredibly, you know, my wife has been able to stay home after we paid off all our debt. So, but it's been a lot of work. And I would encourage people listening like this is not like the overnight success story. Right? There's been a lot of work, a lot of struggle I went through a lot mentally as we kind of said, before we started recording, like I've been through a lot. I'm thankful that I went through it, but it's been quite the journey for sure.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, let's talk about the kind of the early days because as I've watched people get into real estate, because they can do anything. And most things that you can do can produce a result of getting business, you know, I always give the an example of, you know, I could go mail 100 recipe cards to people and have my information on there. And I maybe get one person that responds back and says yes, because I got your awesome recipe card, I'm gonna buy a house with you. And then you think, Oh, how I get businesses, I just send out recipe cards. So I think the struggle is because you can pretty much produce any result because it is a relationship business. It's finding the right hammer to knock on the right nail consistently. And so talk about kind of how you went about figuring out how to get business and seeing maybe some of those first fruit results, you know, as you got your license and got those first few closings?

 

John Schuchman 

Yeah, I would say it's, and I will say I'm going to talk a little bit here about social media and how it worked for me, some of you out there are like, Well, I have a full time job, I can't talk about my business, my real estate business, blah, blah, blah, I get that. So I would just say there's different ways to skin a cat My way is probably not for you, right? Someone that can't use social media, you know, we have someone on our team. They're a pastor, that our church has asked them not to be on social media about real estate, and they've had to respect that. So they have to find a different way. For me though, it was all social media, man. It's all organic social media. And so some people are like, well, that doesn't make any sense how I, I don't pay for ads. I don't pay Zillow, I don't pay anybody. It's organic social media created a six figure income.

 

John Schuchman 

And what I've learned, so I've, I don't even know that you know this, but I have a previous you know, side hustle. Even in my w2 days, I was a wedding photographer, like I own all the professional equipment. What I noticed doing photography, and this is getting back to real estate, but what I noticed was, every time I would post like a gallery, or, or a review or something like that someone else it would be like someone's going out of the pipeline, and someone's coming in. And so I'm like, wait a second, that applies even 10 years later. I'm like that applies to real estate. Because now when I share things, and again, it's just organic stuff. Oh, at a showing I was at, you know, Starbucks today for meeting as I kind of share that stuff on social media, people get to know me. And here's the thing, people want to do business with people that they know, like, and trust.

 

John Schuchman 

So if you go to my Facebook, it's completely public, you'll probably be like, I like him or I don't based on what he posts what he doesn't post. And so in a way that kind of feeds, like if someone hates Starbucks or whatever, like I'm sort of being silly, but they're probably not gonna want to work with me. I go there all the time for meetings. But I think it's been organic, being genuine being yourself. So what I've learned is just that, like, social media is a powerful tool. You know, I have a mentor, his name is Vincent Puglisi. I'm in a mastermind group that he runs. And he says you're being selfish by not talking about your business on social media. Now, all of you listen to this way are like no, wait a second. It's the opposite. I'm being selfish when I talk about myself. But here's what I've learned. There are realtors in my city in my county, there's 1500 realtors. I know that a good majority of them are trying to screw you sideways, right? They're not going to have integrity, they're not going to be honest with you.

 

John Schuchman 

So by not talking about my business, I am mean self But I'm not giving I'm not giving Mike the opportunity to work with me because he's not seeing my stuff. Now, I don't sit there and be like, I need business, please help me. I just use it organically share when stuffs sold under contract coming soon, etc share that stuff to my personal page when I have a settlement tag the clients, right? So imagine seeing Aaron bought a home. And you see I tag Erin in the post, you're like, oh, you know, Aaron looks happy in that picture. I want to feel happy, I should ask John to help me buy a home. So that's the kind of stuff and like, I'm not begging people to use my business, right? I I don't sit there and say please help. Let me help you buy or sell a house. I just do it organically. I share about the clients. I everybody out there is a storyteller, right? So I try to sell tell stories to what I'm doing. So here's the situation Aaron came up against as he went to buy a home.

 

John Schuchman 

Here's what we did, he got to the settlement table and I my poster, basically congratulations to the client, and tagging the lender, the settlement company, etc. And then I say it was a, it was an honor to be a small part of this process. I could say I was a big part of this process. I showed you all the homes, I wrote all the contracts, but that's cocky. And nobody likes that. So if you do it from a humble, like coming from a humble attitude of like, just appreciation and say I was happy to be a small part. I mean, people that read it, no, I'm a large part of the interaction with the clients. So but I don't need to sit there and say that you can be humble and still share about your business. And it's a way to help others, right, I think, you know, think about the businesses that you know, the mechanics, the restaurants will, you know, they have to you know, they're being selfish by not telling you about what they're doing, and maybe what this mechanic has to offer over someone else.

 

John Schuchman 

So that's what I would really encourage people with, like, social media is a tool to grow your business. I don't post about real estate 20 times a day. I do like maybe two or three times a week. I don't want to overwhelm people. But if they don't like see my business, there's a mute button or an unfriend like, I mean, most of the people that I know, on social medias, like they want to support what I'm doing. Does that make sense?

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, one of the things that that hit me early on in the business that helped me from a mindset perspective, is there's a lot of bad agents out there. And by sharing your story, you're hopefully preventing somebody from using a bad agent, you know. And so, in some ways, when you kind of flip the script, and you say, I have a responsibility to get my name out there, because I know that I'm going to do a good job, I know that I'm going to give them great service, I know that I truly do care for them, that it's my responsibility to tell people what I do, because lazy agents, bad agents, agents that do want to screw you're out there.

 

Mike Swenson 

So the more clients you get yourself, you're preventing them from a bad experience. And, you know, hopefully taking that transaction from a bad or lazy agent. And so that helped change kind of my mindset of, oh, yeah, this, this does make make sense. I'm not bothering people. I'm doing a service because I know that I can give good service, I know that I trust my abilities as an agent to do a good job. So that's why I want to get out in front and work with people versus Oh, shoot, I might be bugging them too much by contacting them.

 

John Schuchman 

Well, and I think too, I love what you just said, because it's just, I'm it's not like I would message you every day. Hey, did you know I'm a realtor? Hey, did you know I'm a realtor? I'm just putting stuff on my page, right. And 40% of my clients have fired another agent and found me. So what I learned with that was even, you know, maybe I think every agents great. My clients are telling me no, they're not. You know, one of the ones I always remember is them firing in client. Now this was not like a $50,000 deal. They bought a $400,000 house, they sold a $300,000 house. He did not respond. They would now the market shifted a little bit. So this was last summer when it was crazy. But they would text him on a Friday. Can we see this home? He would respond on Monday?

 

John Schuchman 

No, sorry. It's under contract. Right. And they worked with him for months. And so it almost gave Realtors a bad name. It gave us a bad reputation, how he was acting. And for those of you out there that are like, I can't promote myself. You'll I'm super passionate about my family, my wife and my two kids, right? I know, Mike, you're super passionate about your wife and your three boys. So like, when I don't talk about my business, there's someone that will so if I think of like this my hand right here. I'm letting them steal food off my kid's plate. I'm letting them steal food off my wife's plate. And so that gets me a little emotional thinking about like, by not wanting to put myself out there. I'm letting another agent take that food for my family.

 

John Schuchman 

Now I'm being a little dramatic, but I think it's true. Like we have to work hard in this business where everybody in 2020 got their license thinking oh, I can make $100,000 Right? It is hard and we've both seen it, you know, the market is shifting. And if we're not going to be out there someone else is going to and probably 50%, there's a, there's 1500 agents in my county. And I would imagine, there will be about 1000 or less in two years when they all renew their license. So you have to put yourself out there, you have to be willing to kind of step out in faith, like believing in your abilities and believing that you can help people.

 

Mike Swenson 

Yeah, another thing that kind of kind of scary, talking about being an entrepreneur and working for yourself is, you know, whether you do 50 closings or whether you do zero closings, the board, the realtor board doesn't really care, you know, and so that's the thing. So whether you're killing it, or whether you you're completely struggling and overwhelmed, the board doesn't care, those sales are going to happen from other people. And so in that way, you have a responsibility to write your own journey. You know, what happens to me in real estate is 100%, my responsibility and my fault, for better for worse. And so if I'm struggling, that's on me, now, it takes a while to figure things out, you have to figure out what to do well, so there's a there's a learning curve there, and so many people give up before they get to that spot.

 

Mike Swenson 

But at the same point, you're gonna go get your closings and, and what helped me to from a mindset perspective is, you know, the number one agent in your town or in your, your city or whatever, they don't have to completely fail for you to succeed, you can both do well, you can be the number one agent, you can be the number two agent, you can have one less or one more closing than the number one agent out there. And they can be successful as well. And so there's so much out there. So that mindset of abundance is really important. There are deals to be had, even in a tough market, you just got to go find them and they don't have to completely fail in order for us to to succeed. So you can cheer everybody on, right? Like I want. Yeah, that other agent that I'm competing with on this listing, I want them to do well, they can do a great job. And that's okay.

 

John Schuchman 

Mike, it's so funny that you say that I lead a membership group, like I said, on Monday mornings for agents, two or three of them live in my county. So it's kinda like, wait a second, you're coaching these realtors to be your competition. But I had an agent that was on our team for a while and he's like, why would you help me? And I'm like, most realtors are garbage, right? And so like, if you're going to answer your phone and be nice and be helpful, like, there's plenty of business to go around, right? I'm not worried about you stealing my, my business. And I booked for this quote all the time, but it's basically like rising tides lifts a little bit lift up all ships. Yeah, like, so why would I want not someone want someone else to not have success?

 

John Schuchman 

Here's the other piece. If you're listening to this, and you're in real estate, your value proposition is not the number one agent in your town. It's you. And I'll tell you what I mean, my neighbor to our right. Three years ago, right as I was getting licensed was selling their house. And basically, they said they list with me. I thought they were gonna listen the spring they listed in like November, right? So and I said, Hey, I see you're working with x. So this big agent, his name is on buses, he's on, you know, commercials Barbara Corcoran, right, all these things? And they're like, Well, you know, I went to school with him 30 years ago. So we we know each other, they sold. And I said after so you know, I just followed the process. And the agent who listed their home on that person's team was a buddy of mine. So it wasn't like, Oh, I'm so angry. Like, I was happy for him. But after the settlement, I said, Hey, so how was your experience working with him?

 

John Schuchman 

The agent, you know, on the buses and stuff. And they said, John, if I would have now say to you, this agent name on buses, Barbara Corcoran sends out like $5 mailers to every house in the neighborhood color mailers when a whole house sell. So I was depressed. I was like, How can I compete with this? I said to her, how is it selling with this agent? And she said, direct quote, I'll never forget it. John, if I would have known I would only see him at the initial meeting. I would have never listed with him I would have listed with you. That was all the ammunition I needed. I'm not trying to compete with him or take his business. He does a ton of volume right one of the biggest agents in the nation. But what I learned from that was his eight the people he works with want a sign thrown in the yard and you walk away and you don't hear from them and the house sells fine. You want that. Mister, my name is on a bus is for you.

 

John Schuchman 

If you instead want a personal relationship with someone who it's not about the commission, it's not about selling a home. It's like a relationship and they're with you. From the start to the finish. You're not on a conveyor belt like okay, you're under contract. Now we're handing you off to this person, okay, you're clear to close. We're handing you off to this. And I said and I can say this to my clients, if you want someone that's going to be there from the beginning to the end, and you know, answer Any questions, hold your hand if you need it. I'm your guy. And so for you out there, that's why I'm saying your value proposition is you stop trying to compete with the agent doing 400 deals a year when you do to try to think of what is the value I bring to my client and focus on that don't focus on Oh, I can't compete with the guy whose faces on the bus? No. And you don't have to, you have something valuable each, every single one of us in real estate in any business has something valuable to bring to the table. So what value do you bring?

 

Mike Swenson 

Exactly, I mean, having having worked on the admin side of a large team, one of the things we talked about right when now I wasn't an agent at this time, but you know, one of the scripts that the agents uses, hey, if you find another person that sells more houses than our team, you should probably use them, right? They're still there, I'm just say, they're standing on the leg of, we get home sold, we sell a lot of houses, and then absolutely somebody in shoes of smaller, it's the customizable service. And so both can be of great resources. Like on a large team, there's lots of people that enjoy their experience, there's people that don't enjoy their experience as well. And when you're on a small team, or maybe you're a solo agent, your value is the level of attention. And if you're their only customer, then you better do a good job with them. Because you're the only customer right now. And it's those experiences when you get leave them a wow, experience, they're going to tell other people, and that's going to get you another shot. So yeah, you absolutely are correct, you don't have to worry about competing with them, be yourself give the best level of service that you can give, and that's going to grow over time. And then you can put systems in place to help grow your business. But But absolutely, I love that.

 

John Schuchman 

I think to real quick as you were saying how many deals they do think about, you know, I'm good at getting reviews. And but you know, if I think about it, so that team does 100, Let's even say 1000 deals a year, but you as a small independent agent do 20 They could get 20 bad reviews, and they won't impact their Google rankings. Right? What you know, too bad reviews will could almost destroy you. So I think those agents out there that are smaller that are independent or on small teams, you need to think about well, that means every single relationship, I have to absolutely get a hole in one each and every time for to get that recommendation. And so you can't have 10 people simply leaving bad reviews, it'll absolutely destroy you. So I just think it's something for those people to think about too, as well like that how much the relationship matters.

 

Mike Swenson 

Now, you talked a little bit about growing organically through social media. You talked about, you know, tagging people for closings, what are some of the other strategies that you use for people that don't want to pound the phones and cold cold call, but they want to use that social media to their benefit. How do you how do you? What's, what's some of the success that you've had?

 

John Schuchman 

Yeah, great question. Because I literally cold called one day of my career, and I was like, our office had like a cold call thing. You know, I went we had free lunch. And I was like, I'm never doing this again. I was like, This is terrible. So I have not cold called since. But I think, okay, a big mess is all of you in real estate. So if you go to my Facebook, John Schucman, my phone number is in my bio. So if someone is scrolling, and they see sold under contract, whatever it is, they can click my page and my phone numbers right there, I anyone with a business, you're that little bio, where they give you like 100 characters, or whatever it is, your phone number needs to be in there. That is like the biggest thing that anyone can fix in five seconds listening to this. Because if I'm looking at your business, right, I, you should make it easy for me to get a hold of you not difficult. And so that's one. The other thing is Facebook likes when you play in their sandbox, right? So, uh, so many realtors are out there sharing links, right?

 

John Schuchman 

They have these auto e auto emails that go on their business page. I just had someone hired me for social media coach, and she's like, why don't know why I'm not getting any engagement. So I'm like, well, all you're doing is auto sharing links that everybody everyone in real estate gets from their brokerage for free. It's not unique. It's not organic. It's automated. And people don't like that. And she said, Oh, and I'm like, we get we only have 500 people that like our page, and we get 15 to 20,000 views a month. I don't care about the likes. I don't care about the comments. It's a vanity metric. What I care about is how many people are seeing our stuff. Right? And so I think that's the biggest thing, man, you want to share stuff, also to your personal page, right? Well, and then people will say to me, Well, why am I using a business page? It doesn't get any interactions?

 

John Schuchman 

Well, because you haven't done it long enough. And because you you know you're not like for instance, I posted on social media for nine months about real estate before I sold my first house, right? I didn't give up after two weeks. And even now I'll have people that messaged me from college in 2006 that are like hey, We didn't know you were a realtor, can you help us buy or sell a home? And I'm like, how did you not know I've been here for over three years. But that's just how the algorithm works. Some people see you. So I think us your business, thinks your bio, have your phone number, their use a business page, if it's not, you know, hasn't grown a ton, then you need to put out better content and share it to a personal page. And it's all about growth, right? So if you tell me your business page has 10 views of month, okay, that's a bummer.

 

John Schuchman 

Well, then let's get it to 20 to 50 to 100. Don't compare it to like, we've done social media for our team for you know, I've, I've done it myself, like since January 2021. So two years, don't compare it to that compare it to like, just growing right? So those will be some quick things. And I mean, seriously, this isn't a pitch like, I love social media. So if people hear this, and they're like, let's jump on 15 minute zoom, I will tell you the things I've done. Know that for free, I do not care. Like I just want people to not feel stressed about social media. So many people try for three months, they're not getting the results. Social media is a long game, but here's my my favorite word in real estate is free, like social media, LinkedIn, Instagram, you know, all that stuff is free, right? So why wouldn't you have free advertising for your business. So those are just a kind of threw a lot at you. But those are like some quick hits on things people could be doing differently.

 

Mike Swenson 

So just kind of talking about on your personal page now showing that you're a real human being right. So posting about family, kids loves, you know, whatever it is hobbies, all that stuff's good. You can also post the, hey, I help sell house. Now, I love what you said, you know, I could just post a picture of the house and say just sold. But you're telling the story of it, you know, what's something about their situation? What's something that went well, what's the way that you help serve them to be able to talk about business? And then there's all this sneaky stuff, like, Hey, I was on my way to an appointment today.

 

Mike Swenson 

And I got coffee, and I was thinking about this, right? You're reminding them you're in real estate without telling them you're in real estate, right? Or, you know, hey, just got back from this listing appointment. Appointment. And I saw this. And then there's add value, right? How is the market? How can you add value to what people need to know about real estate or about your experience in real estate and everywhere in between? So there's so many things out there that you can do? Right? A list, right? And ideas list? If you want to get engagement ask a question of people, it doesn't have to be about real estate.

 

Mike Swenson 

The question I always given as example, because I see, so many realtors use it. And it just gets a ton of comments is what's the one thing that you're confident you're the only person on my friends list that does? Because everybody wants to brag about themselves about the celebrity they met the one thing they did, and I always see like, hundreds of comments. So Facebook rewards engagement. So you can just ask that question to get more engagement on your social media. So there's so many things you can do. It's just being consistent with it over time.

 

John Schuchman 

It's It's so true, Mike, it really is and what I find interesting, so your social media, I want everyone listening to this to think about their page differently. It's not what did I post last week or this week? Your Social media is a living and breathing portfolio of you. Right? So so my family, if you go to my page, you can see we're actually you know, November 30, we were in Nashville, Tennessee, doing our debt free scream, we paid off our house and all our debt. We shared that why it has nothing to do with business what it has to do with showing you like the freedom that's possible, you know, through real estate, when I every single so I'll say it this way.

 

John Schuchman 

Every single thing on my personal page has a purpose, every single thing. So it might be there's an arcade near our house that we like go into on like cold days when you know the kids want to get out of the house called round one. When I post that at three in the afternoon on a Wednesday, it is showing you you know the freedom that we've created and that we can do that right that I love my family want to spend time with them. You know, people again, I'll go back to IT people like doing business with people that they know, like and trust. If you sit down with me and you I have a great friend Wendy Norman. She's an elopement photographer in Savannah, Georgia. People will sit down with her and they know she likes a certain coffee.

 

John Schuchman 

She has a pug named Winston etc. So if you sit down with me and you know about my kids, Kayden and Liliana, and you know about my wife, you know about our Debt Free Journey, you know that I had to sit in Philadelphia and watch the Philadelphia Phillies get no hit during the World Series. Right? Like you, you know, all these things. You kind of have a talking point you feel like you already know me, right? It's not like some awkward conversation. It's like, friends sitting down. Oh, and hey, let's talk about real estate. So when ever business you're in, again, I'll go back. You're a storyteller. What stories are you telling people through? Hey, This client had this issue, we did this they got to settlement, they did a great job, congratulations.

 

John Schuchman 

Whether it is sharing that right. I've shared openly on my Facebook about the struggle of the first year in real estate, right? All those things make you more personable make people want to work with you when we paid off our house, and some people disagreed, you know, whenever we were able, right? Now, when I tell clients, hey, you can buy a house this month or next year, I don't care. It's not like a sales pitch. They they're like, oh, yeah, well, you paid off your house. So you probably really don't care when we buy a house. And so just makes you more relatable to people. By being open and honest on social media.

 

Mike Swenson 

You had just talked about the challenge. And this is kind of the other piece I wanted to talk about too, because great things can happen in real estate. And it's also extremely exhausting. emotionally, mentally, there's a lot of tough stuff that people don't see, they just think like, Oh, you just put a sign in the yard and got your check and walked away. There's this whole dark side of real estate, right. And so I'd love to just kind of hear some of your thoughts and some of your experience, going through the challenging times over the last couple of years as you built, built your business, and kind of how you've been able able to overcome some of those struggles? Yeah, well, I

 

John Schuchman 

think, you know, we talked a little bit before, like, I went through a lot mentally, I still remember the day, February 26 2019. When I lost my last w two, I'll never forget it. What I really, I think learned during all this was you just need someone believing in you and cheering for you. So for instance, when I went through depression and all those things, my wife was amazing. She was still working at the bank that had fired me. So that was like the worst experience in the world. But she was like my biggest cheerleader and kept reminding me, hey, I believe in you. I know this job didn't work out. Now again, they fired me without just cause like they I got six months of unemployment out of it. But just having someone that believes in you.

 

John Schuchman 

There's a great story about Frank Sinatra, that my friend Vincent, who I mentioned earlier tells in a book of his. And it basically says that during the last couple of years of Frank Sinatra, his career, he was on stage at one point stopped, was stumbling over his words couldn't remember the words and like his handler, whoever the person was, was like, come on, Frank, let's go off stage. And the guy literally was like, This is it. This is the end of Frank Sinatra and write as he was about to take him off stage. Some guy in the very top row up in the bleachers started clapping. We love you, Frank. And then of course, the whole place erupted and said, We love you, Frank. Frank Sinatra went on to have two more years of touring, you can look this up. It's a great story from that, right.

 

John Schuchman 

And so it was the story basically, in the lesson is you really just need that one person cheering for you, that one person who believes in you like that guy. He could have thought, Oh, this is awkward. I'm not going to clap. What if I'm the only one clapping nobody wants to be that guy. He didn't He cheered for Frank Sinatra. And Frank went on the tour for two more years. So I just think that's a lesson too. You just need one person cheering for you. And so what I would encourage everybody out there is we all have that person. My wife believed in me, I have friends that believed in me and who I lead our team with. believed in me. So I want I think often about like legacy and impact. So I think like, hey, those people help me, how can I cheer for them? So I think that's the biggest thing I've learned. It's like, you only need one cheerleader. And then it's kind of like, Alright, how can I help others? How can I cheer for them? How can I be a resource for them?

 

Mike Swenson 

It's very difficult. You know, we we have a team in Florida, we had a hurricane that came through, right, right after people closed on homes. We've had you name it weird situation has happened. And so you've got to figure out from a business standpoint, what do I need to do from a personal standpoint, like helping them get through stuff, and then to your, your income is tied to those things. And so you have to get to the point where you can continue to put enough closings on the board where something falling through isn't going to throw you off the tracks. And so there's, there's a lot of challenges out there.

 

Mike Swenson 

So for people listening, just know, it's hard, it's hard. And there's so many times you struggle, and mindset is really important. You have to keep feeding your mind, positive thoughts, encouraging uplifting things, having community of people that you can talk to because it can be lonely, and there's a lot of times there's a lot of people in real estate that I know of let the struggle get the best of them. And they've left and what you're missing out on is is the positive gain that comes when you do figure it out. And you are figuring out ways to grow your business, grow your income, gain that time freedom right to be able to spend time with your family during the week, instead of having to report to a boss or tell them your boss Hey, I have to take personal time off now because I'd like to spend time with my family. You don't have to do that. You just go do it. You know so you As a lot of cool stuff out there, you just got to get to the other side.

 

John Schuchman 

One mic. I think that's a great point. I would I would say for those listening, choose your heart. Right. One of the things you said to me before you started recording is like people listening. They're like, well, I made 50,000. In real estate, I could do that. Or I could go back to my w two plank paying 50,000. Well, and I have hard days. But guess what? February I forget, when end of February, I will be in Florida for five weeks with my family will go to Clearwater, see spring training games, see, like, I've dreamed of that my whole life. That is not possible in a W two, where you get two or three weeks off. Now again, it's all a trade off, choose your heart, right? Guess what, in Florida? I'll answer calls, I'll do podcast interviews, I'll leave my membership call every Monday morning, right? I'll be probably working one or two hours a day.

 

John Schuchman 

But it's worth being away with my family, mostly not working for five weeks. And so I think in everything, you couldn't do that in a W two, like think about, there's so many people, man, I love that you speak to them, that are like, well, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing. You hate your job. You hate your co workers, you hate the commute. But you won't take a like bet on yourselves in real estate. I had somebody who was on our team for a while they worked at the exact bank, I lost my job at in the same position. So I knew I'm like you're making $40,000 a year. And they're like, but I can't give that up to take a bet on myself in real estate. I'm like, Do you realize what's possible, you can make a lot more than 40,000. You just have to kind of bridge that like year, maybe year, year and a half to get to that point. And they're like, why I can't afford that? Well, you eventually have to be willing to bet on yourself.

 

John Schuchman 

And and here's the thing, people that would be willing to step out of a W two so many of you are doing Oh, I'll do real estate on the side. Guess what, if you made $40,000 $50,000 doing real estate on the side, I would guess if you actually put your heart and soul and effort into it, you could make a lot more than that. So that's anyway, I feel like I'm preaching but that's kind of my advice. Like you got to bet on yourself and choose your heart both paths are hard.

 

Mike Swenson 

I worked in a W two job and and then worked at a W two job in real estate for a while before I started my own team. And now I will do whatever it takes to not go back to a W two job because you know, they talk about kind of that burn the boat moment where you're going all in. It is worth that there's a set of challenges you don't have to deal with in a W two job. And yet at the same time, it is absolutely worth it. So well I loved hearing your story. Love to hear your share. For people that want to learn more about you. How can they reach out?

 

John Schuchman 

Absolutely. Well, again, thank you for you know what you do with your show. And thanks for having me on the best place to probably reach me on social media, you can find me John Schucman. And also my website, the real estate survival guide.com. There you can find my podcast, which I release three times a week twice a solo episode and one interview each week. And you can also add me I'm hopefully going to have Mike on the show. We've talked about that. So I think you'd be a great guest. And yeah, I also have a membership there as well for realtors or people thinking about real estate.

 

John Schuchman 

What I've tried to do, Mike, is everything I've built, the membership, the podcast was all built from pain, things I wish existed three years ago that I didn't know about. And so, you know, now I have a membership. And I'm like, Okay, well, how do I make this like something that makes money, but it's so affordable that people can't say no, and it's 50 bucks a month and you get coaching from me, you get a zoom call every Monday. So it's like, anyway, like, I've tried to over provide value there because I want people in real estate to find success. So the website, the real estate survival, guide.com and all the infos there. And again, this isn't a pitch, but anything I can do to help people with social media, I'm super excited about it passionate about social media. And so I don't want people out there thinking, Oh, no, I can't do this. Forget it. Like, let's connect. And I'll help you with any social media questions

 

Mike Swenson 

And quick for people listening just to spell it out Schuchman - S c h u c h m a n.

 

John Schuchman 

how you would have never found me if you just tried to spell it out yourself. So thanks, Mike. And again, thanks for what you do. And thanks for having me on the show was a blast.

 

Mike Swenson 

Well, very excited for you to share your story. And absolutely, if you're somebody out there that's looking for a way to get into real estate kind of how to get out of the W2 and get in it full time. John, I think you're just a shining example of what's possible, and to do it in a way where it's not the cold calling that a lot of agents feel that they have to do with just building trust and growing your relationships. So thank you so much for coming on and best of luck to you in the future.

 

John Schuchman 

Thanks so much, man.

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